DURING THESE THE FINAL DAYS of the year 2010, I had been continuously thinking about what I would write about during these final days. I have continued to return to a topic of discussion at a social group a few days ago. The topic of the study group was, “2010-What Worked and What Didn’t Work?” As I pondered the question during the meeting…I thought of so much that worked and did not work for me this past year. What worked for me was simply “listening”. I read many years ago that the majority of people have poor listening skills. As an educator, I have rediscovered this knowledge, but am now at a point in my life and career that I can see the benefits of having great listening skills. Poor listening skills for any of us has not and will not work. Everyone wants to talk because everyone has something to say. There’s an entire industry that has been birthed out of this notion of “being heard”. Do you immediately think of trash TV? I certainly do. Risking complete embarrassment loss of respect of family and friends, co-workers, managers, etc., people forsake all things holy to get onto television and then with blatant disregard to all that is sane make themselves look like complete idiots – all in successful attempt to be Heard.
There’s nothing wrong with others listening to you, but what about you listening to others? As an educator, I’ve made a living of talking, but even educators have room to hone their listening skills. Not only should educators continue to improve their listening skills, but also judges, lawyers, doctors, reporters, customer service representatives, students, presidents – You! There is a book, an ancient one and too one of my favorites, that states “…everyone should be quick to listen and slow to speak…” Yeah, this is good advice. This is what worked for me last year – listening. And I simply want to do more of it – Period, Case-Closed!